It's all lights and action at this year's Philadelphia Flower Show, the oldest and biggest in the USA. Take the red carpet through the Art Deco theater entry, surrounded by roses named after Hollywood stars (Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Liz Taylor, Henry Fonda, Barbra Streisand), plus 1500 calla lilies, 1400 ferns, as well as hostas, pentas, geraniums, anemones, reiger begonias and more.
Visitors, of course, are most fascinated by the plants, and one of this year's big attractions is the crimson bottlebrush (Callistemon citrinus) in the exhibit by Jim Fogarty Design of Victoria, Australia. The landscape is inspired by the movie "The Rescuers Down Under," and it illustrates a secret hideout in the bush, with many Australian plants, including tree ferns, eucalyptus, and kangaroo paws as well as that bottlebrush tree. By the way, the bottlebrush is a drought tolerant tree with smallish green leaves and the those spectacular blooms -- it's hardy in the US zones 9-11 and grows to about 25 x 25 feet.
More familiar is the movie "Maleficient," and Leon Kluge Garden Design of South Africa managed to transform a few Picea abies 'Pendula Major' into yes, a close Angelina Jolie. There's also a mystical pond and a wooden stairway that leads to an enclosure overlooking a gorgeous valley. Lots of foxgloves and astilbes help carry out the theme.
The show opens to the public at 11AM February 28th (Saturday) and runs through Sunday, March 8th.
More on other exhibits soon.